Sprint Cars & Nitro Funny Cars = Gearhead Heaven!
The promoter of the Trophy Cup, David Pusateri is a good friend. We have coffee every morning with a bunch of other knuckleheads (Uh. . .I mean Gearheads) in Willow Glen. Beyond fixing the world’s problems on a daily basis, we talk racing.
Make no mistake, we’re down here for the Trophy Cup Sprint Cars! But, many years ago when my two sons, brother-in-law and I first started attending the Trophy Cup in Tulare, David suggested to spend the daytime down at Auto Club Famoso Dragstrip in Bakersfield to watch the Nostalgia Drags. This works perfectly because the Drags are held during the day and the Trophy Cup Sprint Car Races are at night. Works for me!
So Here’s the David Pusateri GearHead Tour:
8:00am: Breakfast at Apple Annie’s Coffee Shop
First stop is head to Apple Annie’s for a great country breakfast. Apple Annie’s is located at 1165 N. Blackstone Street right across Hwy 99 from the light at Prosperity Avenue. The restaurant is in the parking lot of the Hampton Inn Tulare. Gotta start the day with an Apple Annie’s breakfast!
9:00am: Head to Famoso Drag Strip
This year, the 29th annual California Hot Rod Reunion Nostalgia Drags (Oct 22-24) are running the SAME weekend as the Trophy Cup! If you enjoy Nitro Funny Cars, you might consider making the 50 minute drive south on Highway 99 to Famoso Raceway. The Hot Rod Reunion is massive event featuring Nitro Drag Racing, a Car Show and Swap Meet. The cool thing is the Drags run during the day and the Trophy Cup runs in the evening and night. Perfect! You can watch the drags from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Friday and Saturday and Sunday 8:00am – 5:00pm. Entry fee is $20 per day and all tickets are pit passes, so you have free run of the whole race complex. Auto Club Famoso Raceway Drag Strip is approximately 50 minutes down Highway 99 from Tulare. Take the exit for Hwy 46 Famoso Road east and the track is 4 miles down the road.
West Coast Hot Rods in Action
3:00pm: – Time to head back to Thunderbowl Raceway
At about 3:00 we’ve had enough of the Drags and we head back up the road to the Trophy Cup. We park our car and then walk to Vejar’s Mexican Restaurant for a good meal.
After a day walking around the drags, we’re getting kind of hungry. So after we park our car, we walk over to Vejars Mexican Restaurant & Cantina for a hearty meal. Vejar’s Mexican Restaurant is local Tulare landmark. The recipes haven’t changed in over 45 years, which means much of the community has been raised on Vejar’s rice and beans! That’s something to be proud of!
5:00pm – Head to Our Seats to Watch the Trophy Cup
With a full stomach we walk back to Thunderbowl Raceway and head up to our seats to watch an night of awesome Dirt Track Racing. With all due respect to the Drags. . . you just can’t buy the last laps of the Sprint Car Main Event at the Trophy Cup!
Gearhead Heaven: Drag Racing and Sprint Car Racing in One Day!
At the end of the night when you get back to your hotel for the night, you think about the 5 second Nitro Funny Cars at Bakersfield and then an entire night of incredible Sprint Car Racing. . .you gotta just think WOW! Pretty cool being a Gearhead.
He drove a Late Model Stock Car for many years at San Jose Fairgrounds and Watsonville. Wasn't any good. Spent way too much money, but had a lot of fun!